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Bumble Bee Slim
Bumble Bee Slim, born Amos Easton, May 7, 1905, Brunswick Ga.; died April 1968, Los Angeles, Calif.
Bumble Bee Slim was one of Chicago's most productive and popular blues recording artists in the 1930s. Despite his success, Bumble Bee is not usually considered a principal architect of the Chicago blues style, mainly because he borrowed much of his easy and relaxed vocal mannerisms from his mentor, LEROY CARR, and much of his guitar style from Carr's accompanist, SCRAPPER BLACK-WELL. Nonetheless, Bumble Bee recorded extensively in the mid-1930s, working mostly for the Bluebird, Decca, and Vocalion labels; in 1935 alone he cut nearly thirty sides, more than many early blues artists recorded in their entire careers.
Born Amos Easton in Georgia, Bumble Bee left home as a youth, joined a circus, and traveled throughout much of the South and Midwest before settling in Indianapolis, where he worked halls and house rent parties. In the early '30s Bumble Bee moved to Chicago where he began his recording career.
Although he lacked originality, he was a prolific songwriter and his records sold well during the Depression years. He recorded with such noted pianists as Black Bob and CRIPPLE CLARENCE LOFTON, as well as with guitarist BIG BILL BROONZY. In the mid-'30s Bumble Bee moved back to Georgia and settled there, only to migrate to Los Angeles in the 1940s. Bumble Bee recorded for a few West Coast labels, including Specialty, in the 1950s, and for Pacific Jazz.
He died in 1968.